The line between tablet and full-fledged computer has gotten even blurrier now that the iPad Pro has arrived. Taking a page from the Microsoft Surface Pro, Apple claims its new tablet can replace your laptop, and the device has the power (and price) to back up that bold assertion. The iPad Pro’s new A9X chip has specs that bring the device within striking distance of low-end MacBooks. But it takes more than beefy chips to get real work done. Professional users need professional apps. The breadth and quality of content on the App Store has long been the real advantage of iOS devices. And with the iPad Pro, developers can now create for a platform that can run some truly impressive programs. With this list, we gather iPad Pro apps that let you get serious work done.
The iPad Pro’s expansive 12.9 inch screen is bigger than that of any other iPad, and it provides enough space for real productivity. You can draw bigger pictures, fit more text onscreen, and edit longer video clips. Even if you still mostly use an iPad as a consumption device, the bigger screen and upgraded speakers will improve your entertainment experience. But to really take the iPad Pro into full-on laptop territory, you’ll want to get Apple’s two flagship accessories: the Smart Keyboardand the Apple Pencil. The Smart Keyboard is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a keyboard that’s niftily embedded in a folding case. But the Apple Pencil is much more interesting. Combined with the new screen technology of the iPad Pro itself, the Apple Pencil uses various sensors to mimic the physics of a real pencil. The pressure and angle of your strokes make a tangible difference. Several apps we highlight below take advantage of this fancy stylus.
Our list of professional iPad Pro apps covers a wide range of uses. Here you’ll find tools for medical students, coders, and filmmakers. Of course, the iPad Pro also runs all previous iPad apps. iOS 9’s new Split View functionality lets you view two apps at once, increasing the productivity value of many older programs, especially on the iPad Pro’s bigger screen. So if you’re looking to load up your iPad with even more great apps, check out our list of the 100 Best iPad Apps. Are you a professional who wants to recommend a particularly great iPad Pro app? Leave a comment and tell us about it.
Movie watchers know that when it comes to screens, bigger is better. The same is true for video editors. A larger canvas lets you work with more, higher-res clips at once. So it’s unsurprising that iMovie, Apple’s casual video editing software, really shines on the iPad Pro. The souped-up processor is also helpful for a demanding task like video editing.
Apple iTunes U
Apple doesn’t just want you to buy things, it wants you to learn things, too. iTunes U is Cupertino’s online education app full of courses for students to enroll in. You can take notes and interact with instructors. iTunes U also takes advantage of Apple’s rich ecosystem of music, apps, movies, books, TV shows, and podcasts. On the iPad Pro, this living, digital textbook is even more expansive. And you might want to have a note-taking app like Evernote open at the same time. Thanks to the bigger screen and Split View, you can.
Adobe Creative Cloud
Adobe has many wonderful, creative apps that work superbly on the iPad Pro. Illustrator Draw and Photoshop Sketch let you easily express visual ideas, especially with the huge screen and Apple Pencil. Meanwhile, Lightroom and Photoshop Fix help you perfect existing images. Just know that you’ll need an Adobe Creative Cloud account to make the most of these apps.
AutoCAD 360 is the mobile version of the industry-leading computer-aided design, or CAD, application. CAD files are typically used for mocking up real-world objects, whether as 3D models or a series of 2D profiles, so the ability to edit them in this app offers serious professional potential. It also makes great use of the Apple Pencil, letting users transfer ideas directly onto the screen.
Essential Anatomy 5
If you watched the Apple Keynote that showcased the iPad Pro, you may remember this graphic educational medical app. Essential Anatomy lets medical students, or really anyone interested in the intricacies of the human body, study the various bones and squishy organs that make us who we are. The iPad Pro’s big screen and enhanced processor provide even more gory details.
Evernote is one of our favorite apps, period. Taking notes and syncing them across various devices can really streamline your life. And the robust search capabilities let you recall past ideas with ease. With the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, Evernote comes one step closer to becoming your magical cloud notebook.
Apple has its own array of iPad productivity apps, but you just can’t beat the Holy Trinity of Microsoft Excel, PowerPoint, and Word. With these enterprise favorites on your iPad Pro, you can accomplish the kind of work you’ve been used to doing on a PC for years. Microsoft even showed up at the Apple Keynote to show off Microsoft Office’s Apple Pencil functionality. Microsoft Office apps work best if you have a Smart Keyboard as well.
Depending on how you use it, technology can make your life simpler or infinitely more complicated. That’s why we have a whole column for helping you organize your digital life. Task-management app Todoist can definitely help you get your commitments under control so your productivity can skyrocket. On the iPad Pro, Todoist presents an even bigger picture of your professional life. See more information at once, or use Split View to have a constant reminder of upcoming tasks while working in another app.
3D printing is one of my favorite modern technological marvels. But 3D-printed objects start off as a file of a 3D model. uMake lets you create 3D models and export them for later use. Even you don’t plan on converting them to physical objects, 3D models have plenty of other uses. Having a versatile tool to easily produce 3D models is great news if you’re an artist. And once again, the iPad Pro’s larger canvas and sensitive, accurate Apple Pencil make it even easier to sketch and sculpt your digital masterpiece.